Renaissance Faire returns to Janesville

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Gazette Staff
Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Gazette staff

JANESVILLE—Lower the drawbridge and raise the trumpets: It's time for the Janesville Renaissance Faire to turn Traxler Park into its own medieval courtyard.

The fair—now an annual spring tradition—runs from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, May 17-18, at the park.

This year's schedule contains many familiar activities: knife and ax throwing, trying on armor, fencing demonstrations, a raptor show and canon firing. Jane the Phoole and Magnolia May will be up to their usual mischief.

Also making a return visit is Pyro and Penumbra, the fire-spinning ensemble that includes Andrew Rek of Janesville. The group will perform its choreographed fire dances—using fire apparatus such as staff, fans, poi and devil sticks—twice on both Saturday and Sunday.

Another notable performer this year is Thee Bluebeard, a pirate comedian who actually sports a blue beard. He'll offer three shows a day and will wander the grounds.

To The Point is a new addition to the fair. The theatrical combat troupe shares the excitement of swordplay with audiences and makes it funny, too. The group will perform three shows a day both days.

Children will find things to do in the “Children's Kingdom,” including crafts, dancing and storytelling.

Adults who want to take a break can sip a mead—the world's oldest fermented beverage—from Bos Meadery, which claims to be Madison's first meadery.

The company's website says Bos's meads are drier and lighter than the traditional sweet meads of medieval times. Product tastings are scheduled from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday, and the meadery's Oaked Mead will be on tap at the fair's tavern.

Proceeds from the Janesville Renaissance Faire benefit local charities and scholarships.

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